Bernardino Luini, Ham's Mockery of Noah

16th century
Oil on panel transferred to canvas
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The painting illustrates Genesis 9:18-27. After the flood, Noah was the first person to grow vines and make wine. In the lower left we see the vat and a bowl of the wine. But wine can inebriate, and Noah has fallen asleep drunk and naked after drinking some for the first time. His sons Shem and Japheth cover him while averting their eyes; but Ham, his third son, laughs at him. When Noah awakens he curses Ham.

In the text this happens in Noah's tabernaculum, a tent or booth, but the artist sets it in the open air and provides a grander habitation for the family at the foot of Mount Ararat in the background. The gray object at the top of the mountain is the ark.

Read more about Noah.

Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.